Friday, September 5, 2008

Session #19

I'm fond of German beer. No two ways about it. It's not my favourite type of beer despite its many manifestation, but without it I doubt very much that I would have discovered just what beer can be. Germany's easy drinking wheat beers were my first step into craft beer, and I quickly moved along to other styles. German beer seemed like the obvious choice because I swallowed the German purity law hook line a sinker and felt somewhat smug in my new choice of clearly superior beer. I have come to realise that just about all craft brewers from every country brew beer to the highest standard and German beer isn't special in this regard and believe it or not, Germany has its fair share of second rate beer too. Recently at the Great British Beer Festival my eyes were opened to just how good German can be when I tried some cask helles and wheat beer which were superbly conditioned and made me realise that we really don't get the best of German beer from the bottles available in Ireland.

Coincidentally I stumbled across some Salvator the other day, a beer that I first tried when my brother brought me back a bottle from his wanders around Europe. I adored it back then, around 4 years ago, and couldn't get the stuff anywhere in Ireland at the time. I asked one of the better providers about it and he referred to it as 'that beer' suggesting it had some manner of cult aspect to it. It's readily available now but sadly my most recent experience with it wasn't as revelatory as my first encounter, but it still stood up in the sticky toffee stakes and I rather enjoyed it. More and more German beer is arriving in Ireland, mainly in the form of weisse beer and lager which is excellent news for us beer enthusiasts but I must confess that I pass up on the German stuff if there is some new British or American ales available, and this makes me feel a little guilty because this blog and my love of beer wouldn't exist if it wasn't for my early forays into German beer.


Adeptus said...

I feel alomst embarressed that I have never tried Salvator! I have a couple other 'tors and doppelbocks in the cellar, though I have to be in the right mood for them.

Also good to see you were also converted by the gateway drug of the beer world :D

Velky Al said...

Of the various German beers I have tried the one that stands out for me is Altbier from the Brauerei Schumacher in Dusseldorf - admittedly I haven't tried the Uerige yet, and friends tell me that it is superior. Even when small brewers ditch Reinheitsgebot, such as Lemke in Berlin, they make great brews.